ASA taps two individuals with a long-time affinity for SimGenetics to receive the prestigious World Simmental-Fleckvieh Federation Golden Book Award.
Doug Parke, Paris, Kentucky
Over the course of his productive career, Doug Parke of Paris, Kentucky, has been an ardent supporter and champion for the American Simmental Association and Simmental cattle.
A Kentucky native, he is intimately involved in Simmental genetics through a wide range of experiences. As a younger man, he worked for several of the most prominent Simmental operations in the area, including Kieckhefer Simmentals of Paris, Kentucky, Benedict Inc. of McArthur, Ohio, and Tennessee-based Breck Ellison Farms at Knoxville. Both Fritz Kieckefer and Breck Ellison served on the ASA Board.
During his time as manager of Breck Ellison Farms, Parke was active on the Tennessee Simmental Association board, including a term as President. Following the dispersal of the Ellison herd, he moved back to Kentucky where he ultimately established his own livestock consulting firm, a company that eventually evolved into the management of several dozen Simmental sales annually. More recently, he added his own online sales company, DP Online Sales, LLC.
As a member of the advisory board of the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Parke works diligently to keep Simmental genetics at the forefront. The NAILE is an effective showcase for Simmental genetics, ranging from the exhibition of Fleckvieh to purebred to percentage cattle in the conduct of the event’s largest breed sale. Parke has traveled across the country exhibiting Simmental cattle, including every major livestock show. Additionally, he has consulted on fullblood and purebred Simmental sales across the US and Canada.
He has been especially supportive of the next generation of breeders, serving as a judge for American Junior Simmental Association Regional and National Classics, traveling all over the country to attend and assist with these events. DP Sales sponsored the Peter Courtney Memorial Scholarship, which provides monetary assistance to AJSA members for attendance at the Summer Leadership Conference.
Parke’s support for the ASA, AJSA, and Simmental cattle is unwavering. His depth of knowledge of pedigrees, phenotype, and breeders is unmatched. He strongly believes every breeder, no matter how big or small, matters in the very existence of the breed. His love for the breed is contagious and unchanged over the decades.
Pictured: Drew, Holli Hatmaker, Doug and Debbie Park, and family.
For almost half a century, Bob Volk, Arlington, Nebraska, has enjoyed an enduring relationship with Simmental cattle. Born and raised in Battle Creek, he graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Animal Husbandry and was active in Block and Bridle and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Following graduation, Volk joined the US Army Reserves, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant.
In the early 1970s, Volk’s J&C Simmentals, named for the first initials of his two sons, Jay and Clark, acquired six cows bred to the famed, imported Simmental bull, LaCombe Achilles. To achieve black Simmentals, older Angus cows were bred to Simmental bulls, and only black progeny were retained, forming the foundation for their current herd of 200 head. In addition to the cattle herd, the J&C operation also focuses on the production of hay, beans, and corn.
Utilizing a breeding program that involves extensive use of artificial insemination and embryo transfer, J&C has produced a number of nationally prominent sires. The majority of their females are run on pasture in the historic Nebraska Sandhills of Pierce County.
Bulls have been marketed to commercial breeders for the past four decades. The next Annual J&C Bull Sale will be held at West Point Livestock, January 25, 2020, and will offer 110 bulls, 20 select open heifers, and 20 bred heifers.
A member of the ASA Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2010, Volk served on the Activities and Events Committee and was instrumental in implementing the National Champion Bull Award. He served as a sales consultant for several well-known breeders and as general manager of the prestigious Aksarben Livestock Show at Grand Island for 16 years. During that time, he coordinated and supervised the world’s largest 4-H show.
J&C Simmentals successfully promotes cattle through the show ring, exhibiting at the National Western, the American Royal and Nebraska, Texas, and Iowa State Fairs, among many. Over the years at Denver, they won Purebred Pen of Three Bulls, Percentage Pen of Three Bulls, and received the first Power Bull Award.
Volk and Jeanette, his wife of 62 years, now live in the town of Arlington, while Jay and his family (wife Kim and daughter Kylie) reside on the home place, two miles from town. Clark and his family (wife Leslie and daughters Claire, Madeline, and Gracie) live on a second farm, also near Arlington.
Bob Volk's family accepts the award presented by JW Brune.